Online Marketplaces: Gold Mines of the Future

online marketplaces

Online Marketplaces: Gold Mines of the Future

What are they anyways?

Well, to make it simple here’s the definition: online marketplaces or multivendor ecommerce websites are websites where we can have several vendors or seller roles that are selling a product or service, and buyers or website visitors can purchase this product/service. Of course, there are always plenty of features involved, such as comparisons, bidding, discounts, questioning, RFQs, etc.

See some examples

In today’s world, practically all industries are striving to find themselves online and fit into their own marketplace. Here are some examples:

  • Ebay: eBay is an American multinational ecommerce company that provides C2C and B2C sales through the internet. eBay has been revolutionizing online shopping for the past 20 years that grown into 800 million active listings on its database.
  • Amazon: A first-party seller that added third-party sellers with great success. Wide variety of products in all categories. Allows you to set up a store and products within strict rules. The customer is Amazon’s, not yours and that is strictly enforced.
  • Uber: is an American multinational online transportation network company that develops, markets and operates the Uber mobile app, allowing smartphone users to submit a trip request routed to Uber drivers.
  • Etsy: is for buying and selling handmade or vintage items, art and supplies, and it’s the world’s most vibrant handmade marketplace. These items cover a wide range, including art, photography, clothing, jewelry, food, bath and beauty products, quilts, knick-knacks, and toys.
  • Airbnb: is a platform for property owners and property seekers, and you can rent unique accommodations from local hosts in 191 more countries.
  • Skillshare: is a platform where anyone can take thousands of online classes at a small fee, and earn a fee teaching classes themselves. It is a platform that serves as an online learning community for creators. Classes registered are taught by industry experts and with a focus on learning by doing.
  • Craigslist: Craigslist is a classified advertisements website with sections devoted to jobs, housing, for sale, items wanted, services, community, gigs, résumés, and discussion forums.

How do they work?

Online marketplaces usually involve a main owner/admin who manages the flow of the website. Vendors/sellers on the platform usually have their own inventory and manage their own sales, so the owner doesn’t have to worry about this. So what’s in it for the owner? Usually the owner takes a percentage off the sales on its platform, or provides paid subscription packages for members.

It’s a win-win-win situation: the website owner gets a revenue, the vendors can focus on their product, and the buyers can compare and get the best offer.

Then what is ecommerce?

This is a completely different situation and not to be compared with ecommerce at all. In ecommerce, you own a store and just sell your products online. But in online marketplaces, you own a platform targeting a specific audience, specific industry and with multiple vendors, and the owner has no stock at all!

What’s in the future?

The future is in the right marketplace topic targeted at a thirsty audience at the right time. Currently, the main motivation of building marketplaces is not necessarily financial gain, but to solve a common problem. Take Uber for example, it will solve your ride, and the person giving you the ride will gain something by helping you. Or Airbnb, you can get a cheap quality place to stay, and the person providing it for you can make a profit. What’s important is to be innovative and to solve a problem. In the future, we can expect the impact of multivendor websites on all sectors of society.

So let’s see what your ideas are!